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University of Tulsa

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What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Well, honestly you have to go where you really think you are going to be happy, but for petes sake, do not go to a college that you know your parents cannot afford. There is no "one" school that you HAVE to go to that will make you happy because if you really want to , you can be happy anyway. You just have to make the most of your college experience. No one is going to make you have fun or go to class or join clubs. Get out there, don't complain and have a good time. As far as for the parents, do not buy into your child telling you that he/she must go to this school because of its great program or what not... if you cannot afford it, tell them like it is. I saw a friend's mom take a second morgage on their house for him to go to a really expensive college... selfish on the kid to do it, and dumb on the parents to let him. It is all about the experience....

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Knowing what I know now, I would tell myself to cherish every moment. Being a college senior now I feel as if I missed out on so many opportunities and let great events pass me by. I would also tell myself to study! So far I have done alright for myself, but if I had only put extra effort in some classes it would have benefited me more. Order all your books online or rent them online. The money you save is ridiculous! Also order them early enough for class, but not too early in case you have to return them. Get to know your professors! They can help you out a lot in crunches and write awesome recommendations. My last bit of advice to myself would be: don't take a relationship too seriously. Cherish the time you have with a partner, but don't let them become your only priority. You can miss out on a lot in college if you only hang out with one person.

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As a high school senior, I was eager to get out and be on my own. I graduated early and lived at home for a year, moving out the following Summer. I was given the opportunity by a family friend to pay for on campus housing, and I refused. I was convinced it would be terribly miserable. After being diagnosed with Neurocardiogenic Syncope (combined with the apocalyptic parking situation of Florida State!), I received some attendance failures which I am still attempting to get taken off of my record. I think if I had lived on campus it would have given me the opportunity to be so involved, and it would have helped me to grow as a person to be thrown into an unfamiliar situation. This does not just apply to on campus housing, however. I would reassure myself not to be nervous, and to let myself experience college to the fullest and try everything I could!

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If I could talk to my high school senior self, I would definetly say that a smaller college would benefit me. I spent two years at the University of Colorado at Boulder and I just could not focus on learning what I needed to in such huge classes. Being able to know who your professor is and only having a small amout of other people in your class is extremely benificial to learning. I would also tell myself to balance running out with putting more effort into my studies. I run track and cross country for the university and I put my grades in the backseat, which I regret now. Another thing that I wish I would have done was to involve myself in more on campus activites outside of running and met more people through different outlets. It's so much easier to meet people in the dorms and through other freshman events than it is after freshman year.

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Find a college that fits your personality and has the degree program you want with professors who are active in their chosen fields outside of the classroom. Don't be afraid to ask questions, and don't let that first test sneak up you, it can be a killer. Get involved with activities on campus and find a way to balance work and play so you don't get overwhelmed, but don't be afraid to work hard to get what you want. College can be difficult, but the things that are the hardest are usually the most worthwhile, so get out there and do your best, whatever that may be. There are always people who have been where you are, so don't be too stubborn to listen to good advice. Make friends, have fun, and don't forget to study! Oh yeah, and find a major in a field you are passionate about, it makes life so much easier.

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I would tell myself,” now Natalie you don’t have to know what you want to be when you grow up and it’s never too late to follow a dream”, your never to old to earn that black belt you want. Also there are plenty of adults that have no idea what they are going to be and you might never know what you want to do, but always follow your instincts. Then I would tell myself to not make the costly mistakes I made. For example when you go to Tulsa Community College for your first two years make sure everything will transfer and try to plan it out step by step and focus on scholarships, college is very expensive and doing it on your own will be hard so start now. Then I would end by saying “Hakuna Matada Natalie”, there will be a lot of ups and down, but always remember to love life and enjoy every bit of it.

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I would say, don't be hesitant to step out of your comfort zone. To really put yourself out there with no fear, because college is a great time, and you'll only regret the chances you didn't take. Remember, college isn't all about grades, but you do need to apply yourself. I would tell myself that college is a place to discover who you are as an individual and to embrace that from the start. Be open to others and their ideas and really listen, you can learn many things from others and you don't have to always agree with what they say. It's okay to try new things, and take risks, but remember who you are, and who you want to be. Keep your dreams in mind, and it is okay if they change along the way. Keep your morals in view; you are the one who needs to be happy with yourself at the end of the day.

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The primary thing that I would talk to myself at the end of high school would be people. Although I went to a small high school, the majority of those students are attending the same university. I was considering attending that university as well, but I felt a desire to start a new chapter in my life, and while I still talk to several of my friends from high school, being worried that I wouldn't be able to start that new chapter at any university or college seems like a trivial issue at this point. I have learned that no matter where I would have gone to school, everything would be different from high school as long as I embraced it. I am not sure if this would have made in difference in my choice of university, but it would have cleared my head in terms of which school I was hoping to attend.

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To a high school senior, choosing a college can be a daunting and stressful task. Choosing where to spend the next four years of your life seems like a big decision, and it is. But it is important to realize that there are many good options. There are many fine colleges where you can get an excellent education and form lasting friendships. Once you have narrowed down your choices to a few choice options, don’t let the decision process cause you too much stress. Weigh the options and choose the one that makes the most sense based on what appeals to you, what you can afford, and how you liked the campus when you visited. Once you’ve chosen, go forward whole-heartedly and don’t look back. You will have a wonderful college experience at the school you choose. You won’t regret your choice.

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Personally, if I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would advise myself to live on campus. I have found it quite difficult to live off campus because it makes it hard to work on group projects and has also effected my social life. If I started my college career living on campus then I would have been able to focus better as well as be readily available for study sessions and group projects. Also, it would have been easier to make friends. Also, it would make the transition less difficult on my family. Currently I am struggling with finding the courage to inform my parents that I would like to live on campus for the reasons listed. However, if I chose to do it my first year, it would not come across as offensive to them and they would be more understanding.

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